My name is Richard, and I have a rare disorder called Achalasia. It’s a progressive disease of the esophagus, and it’s been with me for years now.
I still remember the day I found out about it. I was just trying to eat some food like I usually did, but nothing seemed to be staying down. I was vomiting constantly and it was getting worse. I went to the doctor and got a diagnosis, Achalasia.
At first, I was scared. I was worried about the future, about what this disease would mean for me. Would I be able to eat regular food? Would I be able to work and live like a normal person? I was afraid of the unknown.
But then I realized something: fear shouldn’t be allowed to control me. I had to find the strength to face this challenge head on. Instead of worrying, I started looking up treatments and talking to specialists. I found a doctor who was willing to take me on as a patient and help me manage my condition.
After a while, I started to understand how my body works. I learned the triggers that could set off the worst of the pain. I had to pay attention to my diet and be careful with what I ate. I had to be mindful of the activities I was doing so I didn’t overexert myself.
It hasn’t been easy. I still have to go to the doctor every few months for tests and treatments. I still have to take medications daily to help manage the symptoms. I still have my bad days.
But I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I can still eat regular food and do everyday activities. I no longer have to worry about the future. I’ve had to learn to live with Achalasia, and that has required a lot of strength. I’m grateful for all the support I have received and for having the strength to fight this disease.